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Mark Norris

Bill to make Bible Tennessee's state book heads to governor

Derided by critics as everything from unconstitutional to sacrilegious, Tennessee lawmakers nevertheless plowed ahead with designating the Holy Bible as the state's official book.

Sponsors argue the bill seeks to honor the historical significance of the Bible in Tennessee's history rather than serving as a government endorsement of religion.

But opponents say the measure trivializes the Bible by placing it alongside other Tennessee symbols like the smallmouth bass as the state sport fish, the cave salamander as the state amphibian and the honeybee as the state agricultural insect.

"They know that in order to withstand the likely judicial scrutiny that is to...